Rhode Island Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Rhode Island

Local licensing authorities have named Rhode Island as a “shall issue” state, and many licensing issues in regards to MAY issuing are handle by the Attorney General. Applications for concealed weapons permits will be signed by the chief of police in the county of residency to verify that the applicant does indeed live in that county. The application is then submitted to the Attorney General for approval or denial.

Rhode Island LawsA majority of the time to be eligible for conceal weapons permit approval, a National Rifle Association safety course will need to be completed through the state of Rhode Island through the instruction of a certified NRA instructor. Applications also require fingerprinting through the local BCI, which can take anywhere from four to six weeks for verification of a Federal Bureau of Investigation card.

Applying for concealed weapons permits in Rhode Island can be rather lengthy and can last between three months and four months. After an application has been submitted, there needs to be a ninety-day waiting period before a follow-up response is allowed.

Rhode Island’s full name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and is the least extensive of the United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, Connecticut to the west, with the Atlantic Ocean to the South. Open carry is legal in Rhode Island with a valid license to carry only if the license was issued by the state Attorney General.

Different Kinds of Firearms

Though Rhode Island does not require that individuals obtain permits before purchasing a shotgun or a rifle, an application and a safety course must be completed beforehand along with a seven-day time period. Permits are also unnecessary for purchasing handguns but an application must first be processed and seven days allowed before the purchase can be completed.

Handguns, rifles, and shotguns do not need to be registered in the state of Rhode Island. Individuals also do not need to be licensed to own handguns, rifles, or shotguns. Individuals are not required to have any kind of permit to carry a shotgun or a rifle but are required to have a permit in order to carry a handgun.

Firearm Purchase

Individuals must be over the age of eighteen to purchase a firearm in Rhode Island. They also cannot be ineligible for possessing a firearm through federal law or state law.

Before a sale is to be completed, a “Purchase of a Shotgun or Rifle Application Form” must first be filled out with either a private seller or a licensed dealer. Each seller or dealer is required to verify each customer with background checks, which can be done with the state police superintendent or the local police.

Each form copy will be kept for up to six years after the date of purchase. Another copy will be presented to police department in charge of the area where the purchase was made. The Attorney General will receive a third copy.

Universal Background Checks

Background checks are mandatory for all firearm sales, and transfers between private parties, except between family members, must go through a licensed dealer. Holders of a valid Rhode Island license to carry are exempt from this requirement.

Possession Firearms

Rhode Island law prohibits certain individuals from possessing, controlling, or owning firearms for safety purposes. These individuals include those who have been convicted of violent crimes, those who are justice fugitives, those who are illegal aliens, those where are being treated for mental illnesses, those under the age of eighteen, alcoholics, and those who have been confined for drug addiction. After five years of sobriety, previous drug addicts and alcoholics may have their rights restored.

Self-defense Laws

Rhode Island has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into a dwelling, place of business, or occupied motor vehicle

Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Rhode Island generally prohibits carrying firearms in vehicles without a permit. Carrying loaded long guns is illegal. Someone without a permit may carry a handgun provided that it is disassembled, unloaded and carried openly or secured in a separate container, and You are carrying it to or from: the place of purchase or repair, a shooting range, or when moving from one home to another.

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes, if you possess a valid concealed handgun license. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol.

Open Carry

Open carry of handguns is permitted for only those with a carry permit issued by the AG of Rhode Island. Open carry is not permitted for those whose handgun permits were issued by local authorities. Long gun open carry with or without a permit is not prohibited by law. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” below apply to those who open carry.

Reciprocal Carry

Rhode Island does not recognize another state’s license to carry a concealed weapon.

Criminal Provisions

Under Rhode Island law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • Parks
  • Hospitals
  • Places of worship
  • Sports arenas
  • Gambling facilities
  • Polling places
  • Public and private school grounds
  • Discharge of a firearm on another’s property without their permission
  • Discharge of a firearm across a public road, street, square, or lane
  • While intoxicated or under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs

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